Support for Parents Navigating the Settling-In Process

The decision to send your child to nursery is a significant step in both your and your child's life. It's a time of mixed emotions—excitement, anticipation, and maybe a touch of anxiety. Rest assured, you're not alone in feeling this way. Navigating the settling-in process is a journey that every parent goes through. In this article, we offer some guidance, reassurance, and valuable tips to help make this transition as smooth as possible for both you and your child.

Understanding the Transition

The nursery settling-in process is an important phase where children and parents adapt to a new environment and routine. It's about building comfort, trust, and familiarity with your new nursery and the people in it. Here are our 3 top tips for getting the ball rolling:

  1. Start with Open Conversations: Communicate openly with your child about the new adventure ahead. Discuss the fun activities and friends they'll make, building a sense of excitement and creating positive associations with nursery life. If there are activities that you know your child loves, for example, messy play, it can help to highlight all the types of messy play they can look forward to at their new nursery!

  2. Visit the Nursery Together: It’s helpful to take some out to visit your future nursery with your child before their first official day. Walk through the rooms, become acquainted with the practitioners, and if your child is walking and talking already, allow them to freely explore and ask questions.

    If you haven’t booked a nursery tour with us yet, we’d love to meet you and your family and welcome you into our nursery.

  3. Comfort from Home: Bring a familiar toy, blanket, or comfort item from home to help ease your child’s transition. Having something they love with them can provide a sense of security as they adjust to their new surroundings. At Bright Horizons, we partner with each parent to ensure that your child receives care that mirrors your home patterns as far as possible.

Tips for Parents

Placing your child in nursery isn’t just a milestone moment for them, it’s a big milestone moment for you too! So, while you're focused on supporting your child's transition to nursery, don’t forget to take your own wellbeing into account. You can do this by:

  1. Staying Informed: Familiarise yourself with the nursery's routines, policies, and team. The more you know, the more confident you're likely to feel. Feel free to ask your nursery manager as many questions as you have.
  2. Connecting with Other Parents: It can help to reach out to fellow parents who are going through a similar phase. Sharing experiences and advice can be incredibly reassuring. You may have friends within your current circle who have made this transition before and who can help prepare and reassure you. If not, each Bright Horizons nursery has a Facebook page where you have the opportunity to connect with fellow parents.
  3. Practising Self-Care: It's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of parenting, especially if you’re a first-time parent. It’s important to take time for self-care to reduce stress and ensure you're at your best – for yourself and for your child.
  4. Trusting Your Nursery Team: Remember that nursery staff are experienced professionals who care for your child's wellbeing. They have a passion for early years care and education and look forward to spending their days showering your child with attention and care. Trusting their expertise and willingness to make this journey smooth can do wonders for you.

Celebrating Achievements

As you and your child navigate the settling-in process, it's important to acknowledge and celebrate achievements, no matter how small. Each day your child becomes more comfortable at nursery is a milestone, and each parent's adaptation to this new chapter is a triumph. It's all part of the journey towards growth, learning, and making new friends. Nursery is an exciting adventure filled with opportunities for your child to flourish and make fond memories.

While the settling-in process may seem like a challenging phase, it's also a time of discovery and new beginnings. By offering your child understanding and unwavering support, and by taking care of yourself, this transition can be a positive and memorable chapter in your family's journey.

Remember, you're not alone in this experience. Your child is in the capable hands of nurturing professionals who will guide them through these important early years. The settling-in process is a collective journey, filled with new experiences, friendships, and shared achievements.